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Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy, Volume 4$
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Robert Pasnau

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786368

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198786368.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

Al-Taftāzānī on the Liar Paradox

Al-Taftāzānī on the Liar Paradox

(p.100) Al-Taftāzānī on the Liar Paradox
Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy, Volume 4

David Sanson

Ahmed Alwishah

Oxford University Press

Al-Taftāzānī (1322–1390) introduces the Liar Paradox, in a commentary on al-Rāzī, in a short passage that is part of a polemic against the ethical rationalism of the Muʿtazila. In this essay, we consider his remarks and their place in the history of the Liar Paradox in Arabic Logic. In the passage, al-Taftāzānī (a) introduces Liar Cycles into the tradition, (b) gives the paradox a puzzling name—the fallacy of the “irrational root” (al-jadhr al-aṣamm)—which became standard, and (c) suggests a connection between the paradox and what it tells us about truth and falsehood, and arguments for divine voluntarism and what they tell us about the nature of goodness and badness. On this last point, we also discuss a passage from al-Rāzī, which suggests similar connections.

Keywords:   Liar Paradox, Arabic Logic, truth, Liar Cycles, divine voluntarism, al-Taftāzānī, al-Rāzī

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